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New restaurant for Merced. Here’s where a new fast-food chain plans to open locally

See a Rally’s/Checkers fast food restaurant get assembled

The burger chain Rally's and Checkers (which share the same ownership, food & design) is coming into Northern California. The company plans to open three restaurants in the Modesto, CA area starting in 2020.
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The burger chain Rally's and Checkers (which share the same ownership, food & design) is coming into Northern California. The company plans to open three restaurants in the Modesto, CA area starting in 2020.

Fast food chain Rally’s is expanding in the central San Joaquin Valley and Merced will be home the next newest location, corporate officials say.

Known for its seasoned french fries and beefy burgers, Rally’s is planning to build a site this year on Childs Avenue near Golden Valley High School. Expect construction to begin later this year and a Thanksgiving opening, a corporate official told the Modesto Bee.

Checkers & Rally’s are owned by the same company and share the same food and restaurant designs. The company has five locations in Fresno and one in Los Banos.

The same franchisee building in Merced plans an eatery in Modesto opening by summer 2020, according to Robert Bhagwandat, Checkers and Rally’s director of franchise development. Other locations are on the docket for Modesto and Stockton.

“(The valley) is a natural fit for us,” Bhagwandat said. “I think people will be quite pleasantly surprised once they have a chance to have the food. People are always surprised just how much flavor we pack into the food.”

The locations are known to be smaller with drive-thrus and walk-up windows, rather than indoor seating.

The 2049 E. Childs Ave. location will be close to the new KFC location and AM-PM gas station that replaced the blighted Century Bowl, which was knocked down in 2016.

A Steak n’ Shake eatery had been planned on that corner but fell through before construction began.

Nevertheless, Rally’s seasoned fries could be a favorite for high-schoolers on their lunch break, Bhagwandat told the Fresno Bee.

“The kids are able to leave campus for lunch,” he said. “This is a great opportunity for them, having it right across the street so they don’t have to jump in their cars and go anywhere.”

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